First CGI images released of what new Bristol Zoo will look like at the Wild Place Project

CGI image showing the new Bristol Zoo Credit: Bristol Zoological Society/FCB Studios

The first pictures have been released showing what the new Bristol Zoo could look like - including a central African-themed forest which will be home to gorillas.

Bristol Zoo closed its doors for the final time in September after 186 years of welcoming visitors to its site in Clifton.

The iconic site is now earmarked for housing while a new zoo is due to be built at the Wild Place Project in South Gloucestershire.

Bosses say they expect construction work on the new zoo to start next year. It is expected to take years to complete but the Wild Place Project will remain open throughout.

The new zoo will feature a large enclosure for Bristol Zoo's gorillas Credit: FCB Studios

New CGI images have now been released showing plans for a Central African Forests area as well as a conservation learning campus where people can watch scientists at work.

The new zoo will be home to some of the world's most threatened species to reflect the conservation work that Bristol Zoological Society does with species and habitats around the world.

A new entrance will be created at the Wild Place Project when it turns into the new Bristol Zoo Credit: Bristol Zoological Society/FCB Studios

Along with the critically-endangered gorilla troop, the new central African forests area will be home to several endangered and critically-endangered species - including a new group of cherry-crowned Mangabey monkeys and African grey parrots.

The zoo will also be home to slender-snouted crocodiles and several extremely rare species of West African fish, which visitors will be able to see in a new underwater viewing area.

Images also show plans for a new conservation campus, which will have purpose-built facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate conservation students to study, along with a conservation medicine centre, providing veterinary facilities.

People will be able to watch scientists at work at the new conservation campus Credit: Bristol Zoological Society/FCB Studios

Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: "We're excited to share these images of the new Bristol Zoo.

"They show how animals will have the space to thrive and future generations will come face-to-face with amazing animals in nature, as well as learn more about our charity's critical conservation and education work, to protect at-risk species and habitats."